Zimbabwe key in joint initiative for production of electric batteries to strengthen regional supply chain —Analyst


Zimbabwe must be included in the Zambia-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joint transformative initiative for the production of electric batteries to strengthen the regional supply chain.

Including Zimbabwe would result in the formation of a broader regional council which would coordinate efforts, harmonize standards, and drive the collective vision of industrialization and economic empowerment.

This is according to Zondwayo Duma, a Policy Analyst at the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM).

“Including Zimbabwe in the Zambia-DRC lithium-ion battery manufacturing initiative is not just a possibility but a necessity,” he said.

Speaking in an interview with Zambia Monitor in Lusaka on July 8, 2024, Duma emphasized that Zimbabwe, with some of the world’s largest lithium reserves, brings a unique and crucial element to producing electric car batteries.

“This integration could strengthen the regional supply chain and establish Southern Africa as a global hub for battery manufacturing,” Duma said.

He highlighted the potential regional benefits that could arise from this integration.

The growth of mining sectors, creation of numerous employment opportunities, and fostering of robust economic growth are all compelling reasons to consider Zimbabwe’s unique and invaluable contribution to the initiative.

Duma suggested that the involved countries should develop joint technical capacity and capability to produce the batteries to fully harness the benefits of the tripartite agreement.

Read more: UNECA says results for pre-feasibility study on Zambia-DRC battery value chain to be ready end of 2023

“This collaborative approach is not just a suggestion but a necessity, considering the significant expense of setting up practical training for mineral exploration, mining, and mineral processing personnel. Strategies for establishing regional training centers would be a fitting solution to this challenge, ensuring a unified and efficient approach to capacity building,” he said.

Duma underscored that the Zambia-DRC battery manufacturing initiative gave hope for African mineral resource-led development, stating that having Zimbabwe as part of the initiative could further enhance the efforts of the interested governments.

He said Zimbabwe’s role as the missing link in the Zambia-DRC battery manufacturing chain was not just evident but crucial.

“Its vast lithium resources are the key to unlocking the full potential of the Southern African regional battery initiative.

“These three nations can lead the way in Africa’s industrial revolution by coming together, setting a precedent for the rest of the continent to harness its resources and shape its destiny,” Duma said.

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